Bradford Park Avenue 1-3 FC Halifax Town: We showed fantastic character, says Heath

Football - Bradford Park Avenue v FC Halifax Town
Football - Bradford Park Avenue v FC Halifax Town

Town boss Billy Heath praised the character of his team after they came from behind to beat Bradford Park Avenue 3-1.

After a dour first-half, Oli Johnson put Avenue ahead against the run of play before goals from Richard Peniket, Tom Denton and Matty Kosylo earned Halifax their first win in three games.

Heath said: “I think the first-half was a typical game where there’s a lot at stake for both teams, for different reasons. It was a difficult surface. It may look OK from off the pitch but it’s a difficult surface. It was a scrappy affair first-half, not a massive amount of quality in it. but second-half it livened up. Their goal came totally against the run of play - we’d had our best spell of pressure. Putting Denton on seemed to give us a bit of impetus, we forced a lot of corners and looked on top, and then we concede a goal which you have to say is a great finish.

“Then we showed a lot of character to come back and get three points.”

Heath was delighted with his side’s reaction after conceding against the run of play.

“I thought the boys showed fantastic character because what we didn’t do when we conceded was panic,” Heath said. “We’d been talking about it during the week. We didn’t panic and start losing our shape and doing things off the cuff, thinking they’ve got to do a little bit more to make things happen. We kept doing the same things and we knew if we kept putting the balls in the right areas with the players we’ve got, we’d get something from the game.”

Heath wasn’t impressed by referee Simeon Lucas’s performance, but had no qualms about Peniket’s red card, which came after Oli Johnson’s dismissal for two bookings.

“I thought those two decisions were absolutely spot on,” said the Town boss. “We were right in front of Richard Peniket’s. I don’t think for one minute he’s tried to elbow the lad. He’s gone up nice and early and he’s lead with his elbow. If you catch somebody you’re always in trouble. Let’s just say there were some bizarre decisions, and that’s putting it mildly. I honestly didn’t know if he was dcoming or going, and I don’t think Mark did for Bradford. It’s a difficult job, we know that, but there were some bizarre decisions.”

Heath also warned that there may be more games ahead that struggle to excite the supporters, but insisted the end result was all important.

He added: “We’re at the business end of the season so flowing football might not be the key every week because there’s a lot at stake every game. The surfaces aren’t great at the minute, so sometimes it’s a war of attrition, putting the ball into the right areas and playing the percentages. We stuck together, they did what we asked of them. They had to be solid and put things in certain areas.”